Chapter

Why Churches (and, Possibly, the Tarpon Bay Women’s Blue Water Fishing Club) Can Discriminate

Lawrence Sager

in The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780190262525
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190262563 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262525.003.0006
Why Churches (and, Possibly, the Tarpon Bay Women’s Blue Water Fishing Club) Can Discriminate

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This chapter begins with a proposition that likely enjoys broad assent: the Catholic Church can insist that its priests be male without interference from the state. At least four explanations support a church’s right to discriminate: (1) it is a case of a more general right to religious autonomy; (2) religious institutions enjoy a right to religious autonomy; (3) government has an obligation of neutrality toward religious faiths and should not intervene in conflicts involving the employment of clerical leaders; (4) members of religious communities have a right to be free from governmental intrusion into close and personal relationships except in cases of harm or abuse. The chapter argues that only (4) is a satisfactory basis on which to support the view that churches can discriminate in choosing religious leaders, and further that Hosanna-Tabor is consistent with this analysis of the justification of the right of churches to discriminate.

Keywords: religious institutions; religious autonomy; Hosanna-Tabor; discrimination; freedom of association

Chapter.  11883 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law ; Constitutional and Administrative Law

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